The passage was all UP WIND, and as
always there was either too much or too little wind. Well, to be fair we did
have many excellent days.
The gulfstream was as predicted and as
desired the wind was light so it was a non-event but the next morning did
Despite being professionally cleaned, the
dirty fuel tank caused many &*^% problems. Not only did the primary
filter clog, but even the pickup tube and filter input clogged!!!
Troubleshoot that at 3:00 am with 12 foot swells and no wind.
Slating in light wind broke many sail
slides. Our only real breakage not caused by dirty fuel or stupidity.
The lowest morale came just as we passed
Bermuda, we encountered engine overheating, fuel filter clogging, the
incorrectly installed alternator, and just when I said "what else can
happen" the high water alarm went off with the bilge full to the
engine... all after a night of 30+ wind and high seas. Mike remained
calm while I spun around like a top with fatigue. After some triage, It turns
out the automatic bilge pump was accidentally turned off for who knows how
long, with water flowing down the chain locker and stern tube. The
engine had a vapor lock below the thermostat, the fuel... well that was
continuous, and the alternator just needed me to swap the field and tack
wires... back in business after Mike forced me to take a nap.
The next few days were awesome until the
sat phone said that our service was disconnected!! We had been calling
in twice a day but now we had no way to tell Roxanne and Lisa that we were
OK. We felt as much anxiety as they did knowing they would worry.
Fortunately, another vessel called Roxanne for us to let her know it
was a problem with the phone not us.....Thanks Allegrea!
Then we hit the storm that was spawned at
the BVI... 40 knot wind on the nose... squall after squall, I've never been
wet for so many days.
Once the storm passed, we were left with no
wind and little fuel...we were close enough to motor in if we could just come
up with enough clean fuel that could make it into engine. Here is where
Rube Goldberg would be proud. Since the dip tube of the fuel tank
doesn't actually reach the bottom of the tank where up to 5 gallons of the
nastiest fuel resides, we pumped that fuel through a Baja filter into a Jerry
Jug, added the fuel from the diesel heater tank, ran the intake and return
line to the jerry with an bizarre collection of fittings and random tubes,
and they we were monitoring the ounces of fuel used in order to motor into
Tortola on our own. It worked!!!!! and we even had time for a good meal
and for Mike to catch his flight.
Roxanne and the kids were waiting for hours
at the dock for us to arrive. It was incredible to see them, I can't
explain how much I missed them.